Do you have a success story we can share with Parallax products?

Happy New Year, to you all!

I send out a newsletter once or twice a month. I'd like to include more success stories. Do you have one you can share? Some ideas:

- Something you created with our products? Many interesting products are made with the Propeller 1 and Propeller 2!
- A student who started with Parallax and went on to achieve something interesting?
- Story to share about your learning journey with microcontrollers? Did you stumble upon Parallax at a RadioShack?

If so, I'd really like to share your message. People love stories and you've got one too. What is it?

To share it, send me an e-mail with pictures and a short narrative (several sentences to a paragraph) and we will give it appreciation and consideration.

Thanks,

Ken Gracey kgracey@parallax.com
Parallax Inc
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Comments

  • ercoerco Posts: 19,720
    How far back do you want to go? My most dramatic success story was back in 1994, when I won the very first Trinity College Home Firefighting Robot Contest with a then-new Parallax BS1. I had NO idea what I was getting into, but I got lucky and my bot beat everyone soundly, including professor David Otten from MIT. :)

    https://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-xpm-1994-04-18-9404180144-story.html

    Not surprisingly, this hoarder still has the robot, so I can send some photos. And somewhere at home there's a dusty VHS tape that I need to digitize and put on Youtube of that bot running the course.

    I mentioned this to Andy Lindsay when I met him at an Educator Course near LAX, and he asked, "How come we didn't know about that?" :)
  • @erco this would make a great story, showing how long we've been around and our customers have stuck with us.

    Like I asked, I'd need some pictures to tell the story. Nothing stripped off a VHS tape; need a bit better quality than that.

    Ken Gracey
  • Me?
    I first saw the BASIC Stamp in a now defunct magazine entitled PE&IN and it was on either the inside the front cover or the inside of the back cover. I thought then "What a wonderful device to try out next.", this was the original Stamp, which had the electronics on the carrier board. A while later, I did buy a Stamp 1 and the carrier board, and attempted to make things work using the dos tools, and eventually got things to work with a home made cable.

    Eventually I got things to work via the serial dongle and the Windows ones. Now the Stamps are my go to idea for solving simple problems. Or did you want the guy with the odd looking hat and the four cats and the bot and me, to relate these stories to you via a direct away from the board e-mail? Photos? Them I have.
  • Ken Gracey wrote: »
    @erco this would make a great story, showing how long we've been around and our customers have stuck with us.

    Like I asked, I'd need some pictures to tell the story. Nothing stripped off a VHS tape; need a bit better quality than that.

    Ken Gracey

    Ken, I would think having to strip video off a VHS tape would show how long Parallax has been around far better than anything else I can think of. Just captioning the image with "Sorry for the poor image, but this was done so long ago that we had to strip the video from a VHS tape" would say more than any picture or thousand words.
  • kwinn wrote: »
    Ken Gracey wrote: »
    @erco this would make a great story, showing how long we've been around and our customers have stuck with us.

    Like I asked, I'd need some pictures to tell the story. Nothing stripped off a VHS tape; need a bit better quality than that.

    Ken Gracey

    Ken, I would think having to strip video off a VHS tape would show how long Parallax has been around far better than anything else I can think of. Just captioning the image with "Sorry for the poor image, but this was done so long ago that we had to strip the video from a VHS tape" would say more than any picture or thousand words.

    Or did you want us to find a reel to reel video of a Parallax device and work out how to translate the video into something easier to say? Besides VHS shows good video even on a HDTV screen. Now that I think about it, the original Stamp was reviewed by that magazine as well as advertised that way. Incidentally there are methods to get good quality still images from video.
  • kwinn wrote: »
    Ken Gracey wrote: »
    @erco this would make a great story, showing how long we've been around and our customers have stuck with us.

    Like I asked, I'd need some pictures to tell the story. Nothing stripped off a VHS tape; need a bit better quality than that.

    Ken Gracey

    Ken, I would think having to strip video off a VHS tape would show how long Parallax has been around far better than anything else I can think of. Just captioning the image with "Sorry for the poor image, but this was done so long ago that we had to strip the video from a VHS tape" would say more than any picture or thousand words.

    Or did you want us to find a reel to reel video of a Parallax device and work out how to translate the video into something easier to say? Besides VHS shows good video even on a HDTV screen. Now that I think about it, the original Stamp was reviewed by that magazine as well as advertised that way. Incidentally there are methods to get good quality still images from video.

    I'm not sure of what you are trying to say, but i was trying to say that any company that made products at a time when VHS tape was the current technology and is still in business these days has a very good chance of being in business for many years to come. That, and the way that they support their products and customers makes Parallax a preferred company to deal with.

    Oh, and by the way, aren't VHS tapes essentially reel to reel tapes packaged in a cartridge?
  • Hey, was in the store yesterday and was looking at the calendars. They have swim suit, football, basket ball, cars, parks and what have you. Where's the Parallax calendar?

    Mike
  • ercoerco Posts: 19,720
    iseries wrote: »
    \ Where's the Parallax calendar?

    Mike

    And Parallax hats? :)

    I never give up!
  • erco wrote: »
    Parallax hats?

    Parallax should find a Propeller-beanie manufacturer and order some in the proper color scheme :P
  • Erco's idea fits within the vision and can be presented with a message that matches the VHS tape era. No problems there.

    It might help if I provided an example of how we recently shared a customer's application:

    https://mailchi.mp/parallax/parallaxs-propeller-microcontroller-at-work-for-the-environment-and-humans

    One person has already replied with a project we will use - a telemetry water pumping project in Norway. Not every project has to be swimming robotic fish; a comfortable mix of real-world problems and solutions is appropriate.

    So, send me your stuff!

    Ken Gracey
  • I know that I was impressed at the time but now I have forgotten about something that Hanno Sander published regarding a motor/resolver and that the Prop was the most suitable device(?)
  • PublisonPublison Posts: 11,432
    edited 2020-01-05 - 16:02:22
    Was it his balance Dancebot?
  • No it was some huge odd-ball motor and it was a significant achievement IIRC. I seem to remember that he was commissioned to prove something-or-other.
  • Ken Gracey wrote: »
    Erco's idea fits within the vision and can be presented with a message that matches the VHS tape era. No problems there.

    It might help if I provided an example of how we recently shared a customer's application:

    https://mailchi.mp/parallax/parallaxs-propeller-microcontroller-at-work-for-the-environment-and-humans

    One person has already replied with a project we will use - a telemetry water pumping project in Norway. Not every project has to be swimming robotic fish; a comfortable mix of real-world problems and solutions is appropriate.

    So, send me your stuff!

    Ken Gracey

    Perhaps Ken but I find the very last one on the newsletter page to be interesting. Especially since the scale of the big chassis was confirmed by the staring cat in the photo.
  • Mickster wrote: »
    No it was some huge odd-ball motor and it was a significant achievement IIRC. I seem to remember that he was commissioned to prove something-or-other.

    https://forums.parallax.com/discussion/127698/viewport-success-magnetdrives-ag-uses-prop-viewport-for-8-megawatt-resolver#latest

    Unfortunately the attachments are broken.
  • I wi
    Ken Gracey wrote: »
    Erco's idea fits within the vision and can be presented with a message that matches the VHS tape era. No problems there.

    It might help if I provided an example of how we recently shared a customer's application:

    https://mailchi.mp/parallax/parallaxs-propeller-microcontroller-at-work-for-the-environment-and-humans

    One person has already replied with a project we will use - a telemetry water pumping project in Norway. Not every project has to be swimming robotic fish; a comfortable mix of real-world problems and solutions is appropriate.

    So, send me your stuff!

    Ken Gracey

    Perhaps Ken but I find the very last one on the newsletter page to be interesting. Especially since the scale of the big chassis was confirmed by the staring cat in the photo.

    Might be a very small cat?

    Mike
  • Nope. Normal domestic sized. Rather like the four outside your home who're examining your garbage.
  • > @Buck Rogers said:
    > Nope. Normal domestic sized. Rather like the four outside your home who're examining your garbage.

    You peeked. Not fair! :)
  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 6,755
    edited 2020-01-06 - 02:58:28
    She’s a 9-lb cat - an absolute boss of our neighborhood. Has put black bears in trees and squared off with the biggest dogs (where I live, dogs do not know of leashes).

    The robot chassis is 5x the actual size. The 4-40 screws are now 1/2"-13 and the standoffs are 5" tall, 1-1/4" wide.

    Ken Gracey
  • Ken Gracey wrote: »
    @erco this would make a great story, showing how long we've been around and our customers have stuck with us.

    Like I asked, I'd need some pictures to tell the story. Nothing stripped off a VHS tape; need a bit better quality than that.

    Ken Gracey

    Actually, I think a VHS video visually tells an important part of the Parallax story. The Basic Stamp was a revolutionary idea. It bred imitators. In the 90's all I knew was that it didn't have anything to do with postage.
  • I was thinking about your rear 5" ball problem Ken. Apparently Fina regulations for swimming lane rope balls are for them to be "0.1m to 0.15m in diameter". They seem to have about a 3/4" hole through them, which might suit a 5x scale cotter pin.

    5" would be right bang in the middle, if you can find some. A few come up on amazon
  • Ken Gracey wrote: »
    - Something you created with our products? Many interesting products are made with the Propeller 1 and Propeller 2!
    - A student who started with Parallax and went on to achieve something interesting?
    - Story to share about your learning journey with microcontrollers? Did you stumble upon Parallax at a RadioShack?

    Am I correct if I say you want us to write about projects we have done and that the result of this doesn't necessary have to be a commercial product?
    I have made a lot of things using Parallax stuff, mostly for personal use, could have written about that but I'm not sure if it would be of interesting for anyone.

  • whickerwhicker Posts: 626
    edited 2020-01-07 - 00:31:35
    > @lardom said:
    > Ken Gracey wrote: »
    >
    > @erco this would make a great story, showing how long we've been around and our customers have stuck with us.
    >
    > Like I asked, I'd need some pictures to tell the story. Nothing stripped off a VHS tape; need a bit better quality than that.
    >
    > Ken Gracey
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Actually, I think a VHS video visually tells an important part of the Parallax story. The Basic Stamp was a revolutionary idea. It bred imitators. In the 90's all I knew was that it didn't have anything to do with postage.

    How about: Include a photo that is suitable resolution for viewing on a webpage in 2020. Think like a marketer. In focus. Well lit. Clear. Not pixelated, over saturated, or postage stamp sized low resolution.
  • ercoerco Posts: 19,720
    whicker wrote: »
    How about: Include a photo that is suitable resolution for viewing on a webpage in 2020. Think like a marketer. In focus. Well lit. Clear. Not pixelated, over saturated, or postage stamp sized low resolution.

    Perhaps I should leave the dust on the robot to underscore the passage of time. :)
  • erco wrote: »
    whicker wrote: »
    How about: Include a photo that is suitable resolution for viewing on a webpage in 2020. Think like a marketer. In focus. Well lit. Clear. Not pixelated, over saturated, or postage stamp sized low resolution.

    Perhaps I should leave the dust on the robot to underscore the passage of time. :)

    And here I thought you had fresh dust thrown in every day. (Or even blown in everyday, contributed the mascot.)
  • JRoarkJRoark Posts: 438
    edited 2020-01-08 - 00:21:10
    Wearing corduroy pants, a frilly pink/grey shirt, and rose colored glasses (and pocket protector) would also have the same effect without the allergen component. :)
  • ercoerco Posts: 19,720
    JRoark wrote: »
    Wearing corduroy pants, a frilly pink/grey shirt, and rose colored glasses...

    I do like Elton John's music, but I don't feel a compelling need to dress like him.

  • JRoarkJRoark Posts: 438
    edited 2020-01-08 - 01:24:37
    > @erco said:
    > >JRoark wrote: »
    > >
    > >Wearing corduroy pants, a frilly pink/grey shirt, and rose colored glasses...
    >
    > I do like Elton John's music, but I don't feel a compelling need to dress like him.m

    Well then... back to the dust with ya! Lol. (I look pretty darned awful in that get-up too, but I figured I’d float the idea.)
  • JRoark wrote: »
    > @erco said:
    > >JRoark wrote: »
    > >
    > >Wearing corduroy pants, a frilly pink/grey shirt, and rose colored glasses...
    >
    > I do like Elton John's music, but I don't feel a compelling need to dress like him.m

    Well then... back to the dust with ya! Lol. (I look pretty darned awful in that get-up too, but I figured I’d float the idea.)

    Huh.
    When it comes to music I prefer classical. But then again I was kidding about the dust job.

    Now about a successful application of Parallax products, I'm afraid I cannot deliver.
  • varnonvarnon Posts: 184
    edited 2020-01-20 - 17:37:53
    I have a few more publications using the propeller as an experiment controller since the last write up that was posted on the projects page. All of that stuff is more of the same. I think it is mostly more bee aversive learning publications. If you want a list of publications, I could put that together if it would be helpful.

    As an alternative, a colleague's student used the propeller to detect ultrasound, with the goal of detecting elephant vocalizations. I'm not sure how much has been done with the project - I'm only tangentially related. The project is also published: https://escholarship.org/uc/item/49j4h509 It may also be more developed since then. I can put you into contact with the people working closely on the project, or check to see what kind of press materials could be put together. Just let me know if any of that would be helpful.
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